Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sports: NBA Playoffs (Conference Semifinals)

I'm late to write this post some my predictions will be shaded by the knowledge of who won the first games in each series, but I'm still sticking with who I thought would win before the series started. I was surprised by a few outcomes and though my initial predictions were totally off due to wishful thinking, I think I'll do a little better at guessing the with my final predictions since I have fewer teams to pick from and will keep my dreams in check.

East
1 Boston Celtics vs 4 Washington Wizards
Though Boston struggled in the first two games of the first round, their strong start to this series exemplifies their play going forward. Isaiah Thomas is dealing with grief but there is a reason the Celtics are the number one team. The Wizards beat the Hawks pretty badly in the final game so I won't be rooting for them. I also don't think the Wizard have what it takes to move to the conference finals.
Game 1: The Celtics take the lead with a 123-111 win. 
Game 2: In overtime, the Celtics extend their lead with an impressive performance from Isaiah Thomas and a 129-119 win.
Game 3: The Wizards take advantage of the home court and win 116-89.
Game 4: The Wizards tie the series winning 121-102.
Game 5: The Celtics pull ahead with a big win 123-101.
Game 6: The Wizards stay alive with a final three from John Wall to win 92-91.
Game 7: In the final game, the Celtics eliminate the Wizards 115-105.


2 Cleveland Cavaliers vs 3 Toronto Raptors
Hard to bet against Lebron in this series, but I would like to see the Raptors put up a better fight than the Pacers did. The Raptors didn't have the easiest time against an improving Milwaukee team and don't seem ready at all for the challenge of Cleveland.
Game 1: Cleveland dominates the first game 116-105.
Game 2: The Cavs remain in control with a 125-103 win.
Game 3: The Cavaliers move one away from taking the series with an 115-94.
Game 4: Still undefeated in these playoffs, the Cavaliers win 109-102.
West
1 Golden State Warriors vs 5 Utah Jazz
Looks like the Warriors are heading towards another finals visit with an improved super team. The Jazz could be exhausted from their much longer series and don't appear to be much competition for Golden State. 

Game 1: The Warriors cruise to victory 106-94.
Game 2: The Warriors continue towards the next round with an 115-104.
Game 3: The Warriors remain unbeaten in this series winning for the third time 102-91.
Game 4: The Warriors sweep the Jazz winning 121-95.

2 San Antonio Spurs vs 3 Houston Rockets
I was surprised that the Spurs didn't outright dominate the Grizzlies and I've also seen that they lost the first game to Houston. I'm still sticking with Kawhi Leonard and the great Spurs over James Harden and the Rockets.
Game 1: The Rockets take the first game 126-99 aiming for an upset. 
Game 2: The Spurs tie the series with a 121-96 win.
Game 3: The Spurs move ahead with a 103-92 win.
Game 4: The Rockets tie the series again winning 125-104.
Game 5: The Spurs win in overtime 110-107.
Game 6: In a final blowout, the Spurs eliminate the Rockets 114-75.
I'm going for a more conventional pick in this round with Warriors beating the Spurs and the Cavaliers beating the Celtics in the Conference Finals. I think there will be a rematch of last year but the Warriors will come out in the third series of these two teams competing for the Championship. 

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